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screws, pick-ups, fast necks, and general confusion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hanx, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. :confused:

    I'm shopping for a first bass, which i'm finding kinda tricky since i don't know quite how to use one yet. I've had an hour or two of fidling with a mate's bass, but it's still totally forign to me.

    My current confusion/delema is i've just noticed that some have screws on the side of the pick-up just where i've been shown to rest my thumb, but some of these these bass guitars otherwise seem quite good.

    How annoying do these screws get? is it just a matter of getting used to a slightly different instrument to my mate's? or is it worth shopping round for one that doesn't have such annoying screws? How important would this be compared to things like a nice smooth "fast neck", or a weight i feel comfrotable with?

    Most of the high-end ones have great big humbuckers or actives which aren't as obstructed by the screws, some of the less fancy ones have screws which are just in better places?

    [I don't want to do the "just get something cheap, then buy a real one later" because even cheap ones are a few hundred bucks, i want to put in a bit more cash get something pretty decent which will last me a while. Also cheap and nasty will make me sound lousy and dishearten me, and uncomfortable to play would definately not help.]

    p.s. if there are any other threads which would be useful feel free to link them so you don't end up answering the same n00b questions again
  2. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Are you talking about the screws that hold the pickguard to the body, or the screws directly on either side of the pickup that are used for adjusting the height of the pickup?

    Whichever, it's got to feel comfortable to you in order for you to get the most of your bass learning experience.

    Screw location means absolutely nothing to me as far as how I assess a bass for playability. I move my right hand around when I play, so for me there is no one place that I need to anchor my thumb. For me, playability is all about body weight, balance, neck profile, string spacing and setup (neck relief, intonation and string height).

    But if the location of the screws bothers you on some basses, that's a legitimate concern for you.
  3. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    as for the screws thing, ive actually never noticed that problem. and the p[lacement of the screws is right under my thumb. it could be that the pickup height is a bit off. it could also be a lack of callus on your thumb that is causing the irritation

    a nice neck and weight is more important, above that is tone. but if the screws are bugging you that much, try and find a low end bass with buckers in it.

    as for suggestions. go used forsure. without knowing your range......... fender mim p or j, ibanez sr???? (dont get anything below a sr300) possibly might even be able to get an entry spector in that range. check the clasdsifieds here, most guys will be willing to send you a sound clip as well.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    What is your budget? What basses have you played?

    IMHO, the screw issue is not something to be worry about. They are not a problem.
    Real problems are things like how much musical background do you have? What are your musical goals? How are you going to get there? Don't forget to budget for an amplifier.
  5. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Not trying to be snarky here but at this point in time, I'm not sure I'd worry -too- much about musical goals or direction. Learning how to play and finding a decent starter bass would be priority. If it ends up just being a hobby, then that's ok. If you get serious about it later, that's good too - I wouldn't recommend dumping a whole lot of money into it first until you KNOW you're going to stick with it, so when planning your budget, don't go straight for the 1000 dollar + basses at first. Make sure you're going to like playing the bass, and there are plenty of good starter basses out there that sound good and are comfortable, and will help you get the "feel" of if bass playing is your thing or not.

    Also remember that there is more than one style of bass playing, so don't feel you HAVE to start off with your hand in one spot or using your thumb or fingers or pick. Find the best "learning method" for you and do that first - the rest can come later when you are more familiar with a bass.

    I'd just go to your local music store and mess around with as many basses as they have and go from there.
  6. [sorry accidentally double-posted that]
  7. thanks guys,

    I mean the screws holding the pick-ups on. On the lower-end basses with slim little single-coil passive pick-ups the screw takes up most if the space and doesn't leave much thumb room.

    Scottbass, Where do you rest your hand if you're moving around? i can't picture the action to get enough leverage?

    Yeah, i can't see this instrument leaving my appartment any time soon. That's why i don't want to go for the get something cheap then upgrade. I'd preffer to put in about 30%to 50% more than absolute entry-level now and get something a little better, since i can't see me being able to justify a second one any time soon.

    i've been eyeing off this one:
    it sounds ok (but not perfect of course) from what i've heard in the shop (i got a mate to play it one place, and a very tallented shop assistant to play it at another), and it's pretty comfrortable, all except that screw i noticed yesterday.

    this is the yamaha i've had a little bit of a play with (and the friend who owns it attached to it)

    yeah, i've alowed for an amp in my budget, but i imagine that's less critical in selection? as long as i get a reputable brand it seems i can't go too far wrong with the amp? but the bass needs to sound good AND be comfortable.
  8. p.s. Another one i was looking at was a Cort, i forget the model number, i haven't heard of cort much outside the music store it was in, got any opinions on cort?
  9. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    The ibanez link you gave us fails, doesn't tells the model brings us to the austrlia default page of ibanez, the yamaha showed us there was a RBX375 and there's many cort so...

    List the basses uve tryed by model numbers n such to make it easier to help you

    edit: And telling us your budget will help alot to
  10. http://www.allansmusic.com.au/Product.aspx?c=41A31E2F-F1FF-4A2B-8204-FD03CDB34C42&p=63879&r=3
    does that link work better for the ibanez? GSR200

    I've had a go on that yamaha, but i probably wouldn't buy it, it was ~30% more expensive than the GSR200 but didn't seem to be worth it for what i was looking for. It does have nice thumby pick-ups though. the Yamahas in general seem to have comfy pick-ups, but would they make my thumb a spoilt brat should i want something more professional later?

    I've had a bit of a general look round but - other than that Ibanez - there aren't many i've got particularly attached to. I'm blanking on the model of the Cort, it seems i didn't write it down (my bit of paper only has GSR200 written on it), it was about the same price as the Ibanez. I guess all you could tell me is a general view of the reliablity and value for money of the brand? I was just curious since i've only seen it in one shop and haven't heard much about it. Are there any you'd particularly suggest looking at? from what i've heard Ibanez are relatively good at the low end, whereas things like the fender squires are a bit rubbish?
  11. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    Ok well I'll tell u what i did when i firstly wanted to start playing,

    There was 2 small music shop in the city where i live, ive went to both and asked the guy that worked there and asked him what he had for my budget ( +-350Can and it needed to include an amp) 1st got me soem crappy box set **** that sounded awful and in the second shop (pawnshop) he showed me a yamaha bass, to make the story short the yammy bass was used and the guy had no idea of what model it was n such so he made me a deal 350 for that bass and 15w (?) crate amp strap locks, strap, 20ft whirlwind cable, gig bag, and stand.

    things turned out it was a RBX760A in rlly good condition that i still have it/play it/love it.

    Lesson ?: Go try pawnshop basses
  12. I guess my absolute maximum budget is $900 Australian (for guitar + amp + all the trimmings), which works out as $650 USD, but that doesn't allow for different importing and retail costs.

    Based on the prices locally i could go a bit further up from that Ibanez GSR200, but not by much (maybe 20-30% more expensive). I could eat into my saving up for a house fund, but i probably shouldn't at this stage.

    factors i'm looking for:

    * i have my heart set on a shiny new one, maybe i could save a fair bit of money on second-hand, but i can afford new and i'd much prefer it.

    * versitility, i want it to be able to sound ok for a variety of playing styles cos i'm not sure what i'll like or be good at yet

    * relatively leight weight (i've heard heavy wood can sound a little beter, but for learning in my appartment i think comfortable is more important)

    * narrow neck, and any other factors which may help for small-ish hands

    * i think i want active pick-ups for the style of music i like (metal, industrial, etc.) but they seem a little more expensive and other factors may be more worth the money?

    * sturdy and long-lasting. Like i said, i can't see me being able to justify a second one any time soon, so i want this one to last.

    * black (colour is the only bit i understand, so i'm pretty dead-set on this)

    I'm more concerned about my choice of bass, i imagine amps are less critical for learning. I'm thinking about 20W and i'm thinking Peavy. Any other brands worth a look?
  13. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    I'm not psycho so i can't guess what u'll like and im not the one knowing the lots of stuff, im juss trying to help...

    Neways what id guess from what ure saying would b a ibanez sr300
    for these reasons:
    1.Not expensive
    2.Has the Sr neck
    3.Ure screw thing wouldn't bother (2x hum i think)
    4. Needs a 9v battery (happy?)
    5.It comes in black <sigh>

    Altrough u usually can get better by buying used...
  14. thanks for the suggestion

    this? Yeah that caught my eye on line but i couldn't find it in stock anywhere to play with though.

    What's the SR neck? How is it worth the extra $100 for a beginner, what's good about it (or bad about the GSR200)?

    I assume orderring one i haven't had a grope at might be a bad idea?
  15. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    Don't get SRX and Sr confused
  16. Ah ok, i see, i just got confused since some plases seem to call the GSR200 just SR200.

    Given the Ibanez site calls the SRX the "big brother" of the SR, the SR may be back within my budget? I'll have a look for it. I assume ordering it unseen and untouched would be a bit of a gamble though?

    What is the SR neck? is it different from the GSR? how?

    I do like the SR300 (thanks for the suggestion), but if i can't find it, is there any draw back you see in the GSR200 which might make it worth looking into others? (the screw is annoying but the other posts seem to say that's work-with-able, and it seemed ok other than that?)
  17. looking round Spector seems recomended by others on this site, but googleing some local shops they seem to start at $999 AUD... bit too fancy me thinks... i can hopefully find something ok a little cheaper...

    ...looking round for somewhere that will stocks that SR300. It does look quite nice, but i want to hear it and feel it before i buy...
  18. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    There's nothing wrong with passive pickups. Some of the best basses out there have them. You seem to have this misconception that they are bad.

    Secondly, while you might want to buy new, oftentimes, you can get way more bass for your buck if you buy used.

    Screws have never been a big deal. I've honestly never noted the pickup screws on a bass. Something to pay more attention to would be how comfortable the neck is for you.

    And it actually does matter what amp you get. Some aren't that great. Once you've settled on a bass, you should try a bunch of amps to see which one sounds the best to you (and is within your price range).
  19. well technically i have a quite large "rainy day"/house savings supply to eat into, it's more a matter of what i can justify. I'm willing to spend a bit extra for new, for various reasons, most of which i'll admit are a little irrational.

    But i imagine it wouldn't be worth eating too far into my savings for anything real fancy? A $100 bass would manage to make me sound worse, but i imagine the sound difference of a $300 VS a $800 bass wouldn't be worth the extra $500 if i'm just playing in an appartment?
  20. p.s. yeah i know the amp is important, it's "half the instrument" as my uncle keeps saying. Just it seems a lot easier to pick that by just listening. Wheras it's hard to pick what sort of bass would be comfortable just playing in the shop, i imagine i'd have to practice on it a few hours to know if (for example) that screw is going to bug me. Amps, look kinda like stereos, i kinda understand stereos... bass guitars look like nothing i've ever tried to interact with before :confused:

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